Tuesday, April 14, 2015

5 Things We Should Stop Pretending....4 Student's Point of View...and my own

I decided that because we were hearing from a plethora of teachers, that I would involve some my high school students here today. There are four of them and we needed 5 reasons, so the 5th is my own. So to answer the call out by Mr Wesley Fryer who was answering the calling by Mr Scott McLeod

...here they go in no particular order. They are written by the kids, proofread by me, and cleaned up by the kids after consulting with me. 

1.  Schools need to stop pretending that we all intend on going to college. I have no plans to go to school after I graduate high school. Why are you making me take algebra 2? Why must I take a foreign language? Now you are going to require I take CPR too? My parents can't even tell me what they use algebra 2 for and they went to college. In Oklahoma there are now two different paths to take, college bound and "the dumb kids" route. I feel like schools put labels on us. Sometimes you make us different when there was no difference before.  - Chanceton W. 

2. Teachers need to stop pretending students are all on the same page. My best friend Austin and I are in the same classes, but couldn't be farther apart. He always gets it the first time it's taught. He gets his homework in on time. He is the poster child of the perfect student. I am a B or C student. I often have trouble turning in work and even now staying on pace. I moved to my new school to move at my speed not Austin's or any other person in the class. I am happier here. I an in a class of one and I don't feel stupid. Do you have any clue the pressure a teen feels to raise his hand and so I don't get it when you ask your judging question, "does everyone get it?" No! not everyone gets it, but if the girl I like sees that I don;t get it maybe she won't go out with me if her friends think I am not smart. PS, I am over making decisions based on whether girls will like me. That was in my old school. - Troy V.

3. You want respect? Give it. I totally get that you have a degree and you are the teacher. That awards you a little more respect. But you patronize us. You act as if you need to put us in our place when we bring up a new fact. Guess what, I have a smartphone. I have caught you being wrong. If I treated you like you treat me sometimes (even with my "teenage hormones" taking it harder than I probably should) then you would be in detention for talking under your breath too. You are not always smarter than us and you're not always right. I am obviously speaking of one teacher. -Kylie C. 

4. Just because someone in the class does something, doesn't mean you have to get on to all of us. When I was at my old school, there were kids that would get into trouble and then when the teachers sent the kids to the principals office he would always start lecturing us on why it irritates him when WE all act like that. The problem was gone and you still want to talk about it so you are going to get onto us? We are not the same as that kid. Not even all of us laugh at that kid. Don't make me pay for the sins of another. -Carson L.

5. We need to stop pretending as if teachers have any power of outcomes in their classroom. Really! I mean, the ones we are graded upon. I know we really produce outcomes but "they" don't know that. Teachers are not awarded the simple luxury of being able to govern themselves. Because the system works like an upside down birthday cake, we cannot pretend any longer that the results of the students in our great state belong to us. Look at the cake below and think of it as a large body of lawmakers, mandating what the districts (the middle layer) can and cannot do, down to the teachers who must please the district so the district can then turn around to the lawmakers and get what? Graded by results? And let get real, a single test? That is how you want to find out if we are working hard? Gosh, nobody gets graded that harshly in real life...wait, right, the kids do! Well I say "Nope!".

Take 'em back legislators. Those results are yours. We are not professionals. We are only carrying out the droll assignment you hand down to us. 

Doctors are professionals, they govern themselves and set their own standards. Lawyers too are professionals. They to can govern themselves and set their own standards. We must beg for a piece legislature to help us. We must beg for legislators to stop putting us down. We must beg on our knees like dogs to sway our Senators and Representatives to vote our way to make any sort of difference. I say we all lay down our rocks at once and pick up swords swinging at the shared vision that we be seen as professionals. Let us get higher degrees and govern our own standards. Every legislative session we ask the same question. Why are a bunch of people who have never been teachers making decisions about how we do our job? The answer, BECAUSE WE LET THEM! - Erin Barnes


  1. Having your students contribute = #Amazeballs

  2. I love that you asked students. :) Thanks for participating, Erin!

  3. BOOM!!!! This is brilliant.... and please tell your students that Mrs. Flem' from Kanas thinks each of them are brilliant too!!! They need to shine their own light and walk their own path! You, Mr. Barnes..... YOU ARE A TEACHER!!! Yes, sir! My hat is off to you! We need more of this!!! Much more!